Bicentenary of 1798 - The Liberty Tree

The Bicentenary of the 1798 Rebellion was marked in many locations around County Carlow during 1978. The people of the county in common with those all over Ireland reflected on the tragic events of the Rebellion and honoured the bravery of those who fought and died in the cause of religious and civil freedom.

A commemorative sculpture entitled "The Liberty Tree" was commissioned by Carlow Local Aurthorities to mark the Bicentenary. The sculpture is the work of Dublin born and internationally renowned John Behan who had worked as an engineer in Carlow Sugar factory at an earlier point of his career.

The sculpture honours those who were massacred in the Battle of Carlow and who are buried in the Croppy Grave in Graiguecullen. It is made of bronze and set on a circular base with fountain. The sculpture features a number of macabre skeletons arranged around the tree shaped outline.

The unveiling ceremony by the Chairman of Carlow Urban District Council Councillor Rody Kelly took place on Saturday June 13th 1998. The "Liberty Tree" is a prominent and well-known landmark in the centre of Carlow town.

Plaque on Liberty Tree
Carlow County Library

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